I like Andrew Sullivan, but his infinite credulity on certain subjects tends to over shadow his good work on others. His over-the-top support for the Iraq war and the general neo-con con about ‘regime change’ by force of arms was one example. Over time, reality seeped into his world view and he changed his mind. His game plan for ending DADT was another example. Sully’s ability to change his mind is what makes him interesting. His weakness to naively embrace certain tactics and ideas as the only possible course of action–regardless of facts and reality–is what makes him tiresome.
His latest infatuation–that the only way to be serious about deficits is to put the hurt on the middle class and the poor–is a fresh example of his credulity and his bias for an idealized patrician class. John, E.D., and many others (here and elsewhere) have written about Sully’s embrace of the growing fad to scream ‘DEBT CRISIS’ to justify transferring wealth to a few while passing along the pain to the many. The Thatcherite appeal of this kind of wealth redistribution appeals to Sullivan’s credulity weakness in the same way that Thatcherite appeals to Empire led him to naively support the invasion of Iraq.
The truth about Sully’s idealizes elites is that they are always fighting a class war against workers, the middle class and the poor. Theft of labor is how they get rich and keep their wealth. In the 1930s these elites were dealt a setback. The theft of labor became harder and so did hiding the cost of goods though environmental destruction and harm to consumers. But in the last 80 years they have clawed back and now are on the verge of erasing all the gains of the last four score years. The goal to push America back to the 19th Century is in view and Sully wants to help. Like a bearded Marie Antoinette, sully’s response to the pain this wealth transfer will cause is an updated “Let them eat cake” or as he puts it: “But Cutting Spending Will Hurt People!”.
In the 1930’s “The Ruling Clawss” was a series of cartoons that New Yorker cartoonist Syd Hoff published in the Daily Worker under the pen name A. Redfield. As the Daily Worker was Communist paper we must take a moment to condemn Stalin and broccoli, but with that disclaimer done the work of A. Redfield could easily be used to frame today’s Ruling Clawss and their attack on the rest of America.
I’ve included a couple of these cartoons for Sully and all the other defenders of a new Gilded Age. This call to transfer wealth up and pain down is not a way to be serious about debt and it is weak thinking to pretend that it is.
I look forward to the day when Sully realizes he is wrong on this latest infatuation (which is almost certain to come) and I hope this change comes soon and not like with the Iraq War–after it was too late to stop the damage. Time will tell.